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Hope might be easy to lose but it is also easy to gain. If you’ve ever become discouraged, I bet something negative happened that you weren’t expecting. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to feel crushed. Even a small amount of hate from another can weigh you down. Read on if you want to feel hopeful instead of discouraged.
It’s only possible to lose hope when you lose focus on what matters most. Biblical hope is the “joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.” If you’re focused on anything else as a source of hope, you risk becoming disappointed or full of despair. Consider the following verse which is meant to increase your confidence in your salvation.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13 NIV
Verses like this one lead believers to know their salvation is secure. God wants you to feel hopeful because of your salvation. If your salvation wasn’t secure, what is there left to put your hope in? Yes, the Christian life is based on faith, but it is based on the guaranteed future reality of eternal life, not a one-in-a-million chance. Believers must have faith in God, trust God, and hope in God because what God promises is in the future. When you see the word hope in a verse, think of the biblical definition, not the I hope I win the lottery use.
You Can Hope Because Jesus Crucified Sin
Sin might have some immediate (as in earthly) consequences, but Jesus has saved you from the worst possible consequence: spiritual death. When you become a believer, you are no longer condemned, so you are no longer without hope. Nothing can separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:1, 38-39).
You Can Hope Because God Made You An Expert
No human is gifted in every way possible. Your weaknesses tell you what not to pursue in life just like your strengths tell you what you should pursue. Both are necessary. You’ll make yourself sick if you try to compete in areas where you lack ability. But you’ll experience peace and joy when you understand (and live out) the reasons why God created you.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
God has a purpose and a plan for your life. Stay on target and you’ll feel hopeful.
You Can Hope Because You Are Growing
Not only are we not born perfect, but we also aren’t born mature. God isn’t done with you yet. It’s okay if you need more time to fully mature into all God is making you to be. It’s possible what you aren’t capable of today, you will be capable of tomorrow. If you have seen enough reasons to hope yet, here is another:
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:6-7
God wants you to grow the gifting He’s given you. God is the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). Do your part to receive what God has given you and allow God to do His part to shape you into the work of art He has in mind. Keep both of these in balance and you will overflow with hope.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.